Best homemade spicy cocktail sauce?
Most cocktail sauces seem to call for ketchup, lemon juice, tabasco, Worcestershire and horseradish to taste. Is there anything else that can make a better version of this classic? Homemade ketchup?
I look forward to your thoughts.
I use thickened cream and a little brandy - mostly with the ingredients you mentioned but I rarely have horseradish on hand. Sometimes I add paprika, a little nutmeg, or some cayenne pepper to add a bit of heat.
I'm not sure if that would sound weird to you - I'm in Australia - our seafood sauce is, more often than not, probably creamier than you're used to (just judging by your original post).
Wikipedia's entry describes different cultural conventions.
For the holidays, I usually do two versions of shrimp cocktail; one traditional sauce like you've illustrated and one with lime instead of lemon and minced cilantro for a heat alternative to horseradish. I serve two platters of shrimp; the steamed shrimp chilled out of the shell (tail on) and warm grilled with a white wine marinade.
I'm big on chili sauce instead of ketchup, better flavor, a bit more texture, imo, with horseradish, lemon juice and hot sauce. A little Worcestershire doesn't hurt. Homemade chunky ketchup would be nice as a base.
I used to make a peachy cocktail sauce, a combo of homemade mayo and sour cream or creme fraiche, cayenne pepper, flavorful fresh or frozen peaches, diced very fine, a little lemon juice, and a good shot of peach brandy. Season with salt and white pepper. Weirdish, but tasty on grilled or oven roasted shrimp.